Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 18, 1834

  • Posted on: 10 July 2017
  • By: admin
Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 18, 1834



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Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections


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Letter from Frances Miller Seward to Lazette Miller Worden, January 18, 1834

action: sent

sender: Frances Seward
Birth: 1805-09-24  Death: 1865-06-21

location: Albany, NY

receiver: Lazette Worden
Birth: 1803-11-01  Death: 1875-10-03

location: Aurora, NY

transcription: mec 

revision: crb 2017-02-01

Page 1

Albany Saturday, 18th
My Dearest Sister, I feel dissatisfied with myself when I
reflect that a whole week has passed without my writing
you one word. Your kind letter came on Wednesday I think
from your observations that you had not received my last
letter at the time you wrote and I cannot account for
the long time the preceding one was on the road. I shall
always write every week if I am well enough and if
I am not I shall make Henry
Birth: 1801-05-16 Death: 1872-10-10
do so notwithstanding
his protestations to the contrary. I am very glad to
f hear that you find it pleasant to be at quietly at home
again. My life here appears very much in the same light
to me that yours did to you while at Auburn. I do
nothing, read nothing and learn very little I do not find
any time to instruct my children. Last Sunday I wrote
a letter to Grandma
Birth: 1751 Death: 1835-10-03
(which by the way did not get
finished and dispatched until Tuesday) I could not get go to
Church because it rained all day. Weed
Birth: 1797-11-15 Death: 1882-11-22
and Rathbone
Birth: 1791-08-02 Death: 1845-05-13
the afternoon here. Rathbone of course made numberless
enquiries about you. Monday we received invitations
to Mrs Delevans
 Death: 1848
for that evening – feeling quite well at
the time I accepted the invitation but before night I
was so much indisposed that I relinquished the idea
of going – however about 20 minutes before eight I yielded
to the solicitations of Mr
Birth: 1787-08-11 Death: 1869-06-20
and Mrs Cary
Birth: 1788 Death: 1863-06-22
and concluded
to accompany them. I dressed myself hastily and Dick




soon brought us to the door of Mr Delevans
Birth: 1793 Death: 1866-08-13
there was quite a party assembled – but they were prin-
cipally nonresidents in the city and strangers to me –
Mrs Nelson
Birth: 1805 Death: 1875-04
was there but did not make so conspicuous
a figure as she used to do at TroyMr
Birth: 1801-05-27 Death: 1861-05-01
and Mrs
Birth: 1801 Death: 1838-04-13
, Norton
x Birth: 1803-05-14  Death: 1871-11-11 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1795-04-28  Death: 1869-06-13 Certainty: Probable
, Nelson
x Birth: 1805  Death: 1875-04  Birth: 1792-11-10  Death: 1873-12-13 
, Tracy
x Birth: 1800  Death: 1876  Birth: 1793-06-17  Death: 1859-09-12 
, and some young ladies


were all that I could recognize as acquaintances.
Tracy was actually one of the party – said he had changed
his mind about coming quite as often as I had – he went
home early and left Aunty
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
with Mr
Birth: 1792-11-01 Death: 1842-08-11
and Mrs Clary
Birth: 1801-02-28 Death: 1875-08-03
of Buffalo.
Page 2

The party was rather dull more so than parties on the hill usually are
and they are never quite as gay


Excited with merriment or delight • Having many or showy colors • An ornament •
as those ‘down town’. We had
as usual for refreshment cake and coffee ice cream and ginger.
The house is very elegantly furnished – was lighted with gas
the green house was open but although I presume much more
expensive I did not think the plants appear to so good
advantage as Mrs Norton's did last winter. The green
house is heated by means of brick flues which emit a very
unpleasant heat and offensive odour. No dancing, very
little musick, no wine – lemonade in lieu of it. Delevan
is engaged in the temperance crusade and is daily becoming
more and more extravagant in his notions. Mrs Blanchard
was very agreeable said she had not heard that I was in town
and Anthony himself actually condescended to be civil – we
promenaded together long enough for me to discover that
the superiority which he feels so sensibly consists entirely
in good looks. We came home at ten I enjoyed the evening
because I for once felt well – free from headache –
The next day we received a great many calls – among the
number was Mrs Augustus James
 Death: 1855-03-01
formerly a Miss Ray
of this city – she says she was a pupil of Mrs Willards
Birth: 1787-02-23 Death: 1870-04-15

when you and I were there but I could not recollect her.
Mrs Tracy came over and spent the afternoon in Mrs
Cary's room – we could not induce her to stay to tea.
Wednesday Mrs Cary and I went to return some of our
calls – went to Mrs Bain's
Birth: 1794-09-16 Death: 1839-04-23Certainty: Possible
– not visible had a young daughter –
Birth: 1791 Death: 1851-04-14Certainty: Probable
– not at home – Judge Spencers
Birth: 1790-05-13 Death: 1857-04-25
– not at home – Mrs
Delevan's she was at home and very agreeable – I admire
her manners very much and she is not deficient in sense –
Nortons – found old Mrs Norton
at home – Mrs Savage
 Death: 1837-04-06
at home
Mrs Porter
Birth: 1800-04-12 Death: 1886-03-29
at home – Townsends
x Birth: 1783-06-14  Death: 1854-08-26 Certainty: Probable Birth: 1790-01-12  Death: 1849-08-17 Certainty: Probable
Dr James'
Birth: 1805-12-17 Death: 1879-03-21Certainty: Possible
Augustus James
Birth: 1806 Death: 1866-11-29
Birth: 1763-01-14 Death: 1849-07-19

and Congress Hall – all at home – Mrs Tracy
and her two
Tasteless; destitute of taste; wanting the qualities which affect the organs of taste • Wanting spirit, life, or animation; wanting pathos, or the power of exciting emotions • Wanting power to gratify desire •

are at the latter place for a few weeks
only. I came home very tired and as the day was excessively
cold I have not been well since I have in addition to
a slight cough that most becoming of all complaints
Page 3

a cold in the head – red eyes – red nose etc – Thursday Henry
made his speech on the subject of the removal of the Deposites
or rather he commenced it did not conclude it until yesterday
we have had no time to ourselves since – his friends ^have^ been in the
room constantly – this morning he has gone to hear the reply
of Mr Mason a new member – will be abused of course – Henry's
friends I believe were all very much gratified with his speech
Rathbone was quite in extacies – he is here almost every day
yesterday I read him your last letter which delighted him
exceedingly. Henry has read it to Tracy and I to the Cary's
you see I make a confession of my sins. I shall not tell
you all the pretty things that were said about it until next
Spring. Beardsley
Birth: 1807-05-30 Death: 1894-01-15
came down on Monday – he comes to
our room frequently – dont know whether he will go to
New Haven or not – wishes to talk about Maria
Birth: 1796-07-10
a great
deal – thinks that he has not treated her very well
and is a little afraid I imagine that he will not be well received
again. Cushman
Birth: 1800-05-08 Death: 1851-12-06
and a Mr Colden
from Troy dined with
us yesterday I engaged to attend one of the Troy Assemblies
I do not know why I made this engagement for I am sure I shall
not go. But I must tell you more about the speech. Henry concluded
yesterday before the time for adjournment and Mr Maison of Poughkeepsie
arose to reply he commenced in a coarse abusive manner but
had not proceeded far when he begged to be excused by the Senate
sat down and immediately fainted – he was carried out of the
chamber apparently lifeless – was bled – and recovered sufficiently to
say that he was subject to these turns. The affair created considerable
excitement with I believe very little sympathy for Maison – numerous
observations were made. Rathbone came over immediately to communicate
to me he said one old gentleman
said he had no doubt that it was
an especial interposition of Providence – the man had told so many
falsehoods while he was speaking. Weed said that another observed
to him that they "guessed his collar was too tight." The Senate
adjourned at that time without any further proceedings. This morning
the Argus announced that Mr Maison would be well enough to take his seat
and Henry went to the house expecting a continuation of the abuse – but
no Maison was there and the Jackson members some of them proposed
taking the votes without any reply to Henrys argument.
Page 4

Henry opposed this insisting upon the impropriety of doing so without
consulting Mr Maison. They said Maison was not well enough to speak
and did not wish any delay to be made on his account – still
the measure was opposed by others of the Jackson members who
thought that a reply should be made to Mr Sewards arguments
but no one volunteered his services – after considerable debate
it was determined that some one should reply on Monday but who
it will be is still a matter of doubt – unless Maison should
be well enough to conclude his tirade – here the affair rests and is
in a train that appears to be very gratifying to our friends.
I am glad you attended the ball and enjoyed it so much – there is a
pleasurable excitement in dancing if one has good musick even when
the company is not of the most agreeable kind. Goodwin

Editorial Note

Either Stephen Austin Goodwin
Birth: 1807-11-26 Death: 1879-05-13
or Daniel Sweet Goodwin
Birth: 1805 Death: 1885-10-29
is here. I have not
seen him he brought me a letter from Clary
Birth: 1793-05-01 Death: 1862-09-05
and what do you think! One
from Peter Crosby – this is the most unaccountable of all things to me do
assist me in my speculations if you can – the letter was very respectful
the only impudence consisted in writing at all – it was merely an enquiry
after my health and the health of the little boys saing Clary would
Mrs Alvah Worden
Cayuga County
JAN 18


Type: postmark

[righ Margin] tell him nothing about it. I have no doubt that he thinks I will answer
it – I did not know that he could write at all – tell cousin F
Birth: 1826-12-12 Death: 1909-08-24

that Augustus
Birth: 1826-10-01 Death: 1876-09-11
has been playing the graces with his Ma and
Uncle Cary and kept it up 26 times. Freddy
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
is well but rather
boisterous today. Henry's love – a kiss for Fran your own Sister